Extract from Thomas Jefferson to Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours

The interruption of our commerce with England, produced by our embargo & non-intercourse law, & the general indignation excited by her bare-faced attempts to make us accessories & tributories to her usurpations on the high seas, have generated in this country an universal spirit of manufacturing for ourselves, & of reducing to a minimum the number of articles for which we are dependant on her. the advantages too of lessening the occasions of risking our peace on the ocean, & of planting the consumer in our own soil by the side of the grower of produce, are so palpable, that no temporary suspension of injuries on her part, or agreements founded on that, will now prevent our continuing in what we have begun. the spirit of manufacture has taken deep root among us, and it’s foundations are laid in too great expence to be abandoned. The bearer of this, mr Ronaldson, will be able to inform you of the extent & perfection of the works produced here by the late state of things; and to his information, which is greatest as to what is doing in the cities, I can add my own as to the country, where the principal articles wanted in every family are now fabricated within itself. this mass of houshold manufacture, unseen by the public eye, and so much greater than what is seen, is such at present, that, let our intercourse with England be opened when it may, not one half the amount of what we have heretofore taken from her, will ever again be demanded. the great call from the country has hitherto been of coarse goods. these are now made in our families, & the advantage is too sensible ever to be relinquished. it is one of those obvious improvements in our condition, which needed only to be once forced on our attentions, never again to be abandoned.

RC (DeGH: Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours Papers, Winterthur Manuscripts). PoC (DLC). Published in PTJRS, 1:315.
Author
Thomas Jefferson
Recipient
Pierre Samuel Du Pont de Nemours
Date Range
Date
June 28, 1809
Collection
Quotes by and about Thomas Jefferson
Repository
DeGH